Nikolay Goldobin THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 10/7/1995
Place of birth: Moscow, Russia
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 22
THW War Room Rankings (April): 25
Craig Button: 28
You want a Russian player with an NHL skillset? Then Nikolay Goldobin is your man.
Born in Moscow, Goldobin decided to make the jump across the pond last year when the Sarnia Sting drafted him 36th overall in the CHL Import Draft. It may have been the wisest decision he and the Sting have made. Goldobin was a point-per-game player last season and followed it up this year with 38 goals and 56 assists in 67 games.
Sarnia struggled mightly all year, but Goldobin was a bright spot for them. A gifted offensive winger, Goldobin possesses some of the smoothest hands in the draft. He can tear through defenders and come out clean on the other side. His scoring game is bolstered by his deadly shot, which he isn’t afraid to use.
There are a few glaring issues that Goldobin does need to work on. Although he’s speedy, he doesn’t play well when someone uses the body on him. Like many Russians, he was built for skill, not physicality, and his skill will only allow him to go so far. Goldobin is also built like a toothpick, so hitting the gym will need to be stressed frequently.
Dynamic Russian wingers like Kovalchuk and Ovechkin are known to be conspicuously absent when they are needed in the defensive zone. Goldobin is no different. But then again you aren’t picking him in the draft because of his defensive acumen. He’s arguably the biggest “boom-or-bust” player in the draft, but his ‘boom’ is very high.
Where Will He End Up In June:
His skillset makes some people drool, but overall, he will probably get picked in the late 1st round or early 2nd round. The fact he’s skinny, easily knocked off the puck, and doesn’t have much of a defensive game will make scouts question him.
“Goldobin is a dangerous shooter with a wicked release on his wrist shot. He is quick and creative and can make defenders look foolish. He’s weak against bigger opponents and can look lost in his own zone but is extremely dangerous and can quietly slide into prime scoring areas. (August 2013)”
Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations
“The Sarnia Sting have had no shortage of luck in the CHL Import Draft in recent years, but Nikolay Goldobin may have been their greatest coup when you consider that the Sting were able to nab the dynamic Russian forward with the 36th pick in 2012. What Goldobin lacks in strength – and there is definitely a pressing need for improvement there – he more than makes up for with scintillating talent and goal scoring ability. The 18-year-old tallied 30 goals and 68 points as an OHL rookie a year ago and will be relied on heavily to produce on a youthful Sarnia team which lacks depth and experience.“
“Import player who seems to have all the offensive skills to be a very successful NHL down the road. Undeniable weapon who can dangle, set up and score, putting defenders on their heals. Sneaks into the soft areas and lets go with a lethal shot. Lost in his own zone, and needs plenty more strength and commitment to be a better back-end player. The fact that Ilya Kovalchuk walked away from his NHL career to easily find a new buyer in the KHL further complicates the NHL decision in regards to drafting skilled Russian-born prospects, including those who have shown the willingness to come over in the season prior to their draft year. “
Bill Placzek – Draftsite.com
In 2012-13, Goldobin played for Team Russia in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament scoring one goal and two assists in three games.
Risk: 4/5 Reward: 4/5
Dynamic top-six scoring winger
Quickness and speed on his skates
Smooth hands and maneuverability
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Easily knocked off the puck
Not accustomed to playing a physical game
Little to no defensive effort
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 8.5/10 Defensive: 1/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Alex Semin
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
Follow Shawn on Twitter: @ShawnTHW
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